In its campaign to stop the illegal sharing of music, the Recording Industry Association of America may want to reconsider with whom it associates. A student at Boston University, who was sued by the industry association for purportedly trading music files online in violation of copyright law, says the group’s procedure for singling out certain students is shady.
The group has been relying on MediaSentry to find copyright violators. The business scours peer-to-peer networks for the Internet-protocol numbers of students swapping music, downloads some songs, and takes a snapshot of the students’ music files. A lawyer for the student, who is identified only as John Doe, claimed in a court document filed Monday that the State of Massachusetts had issued a cease-and-desist letter against MediaSentry “for conducting private investigations of students without a private investigator license.”
The student’s lawyer, Raymond Sayeg, wrote that the court should consider having MediaSentry hand over a copy of the cease-and-desist letter before allowing its evidence to become part of the suit.
Meanwhile, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group that promotes civil liberties in cyberspace, has come to the defense of the student and 20 other students at Boston University whose names the Recording Industry Association of America is trying to learn.—-Andrea L. Foster